imode phones | i-mode phone reviews and comparisons
I’ve had a weekend playing with the Z320i, and I can categorically say that it’s my favourite i-mode phone yet.
As I said in my prelimary review (after seeing just the technical specification document) athough the Samsung Z320i does seem to be a less sophisticated version of the S500i, it’s a double edged sword. Although it has fewer ‘advanced’ features, such as a slighly lower resolution screen (although it is almost exactly the same physical size—30mm × 38mm rather than 30mm × 40mm) and no memory card slot, it’s indisputably a more user-oriented phone.
It looks better, more friendly, more comfortable in the palm (depite being slightly bigger than the S500i) and more robust; and the sliding opening mechanism is, to mis-quote Steve Jobs, smooth as butter. The user has clearly been considered with the Z320i: The keypad/buttons auto-lock when you close the phone, and auto-unlock when you open it; 3G video calling can be called with the touch of a button.
One of my main complaints about the Samsung S500i was the ugly font used, and thankfully the Z320i seems to have ditched the ugly square font and gone with a much rounder and more pleasant screen typeface. Maybe I’m imagining things, but despite the fact that the i-mode® browser in the Samsung Z320i is exactly the same as the one in the Samsung S500i, it seems to render the pages better. It’s likely because of the screen resolution (the fact that the broswer tends to pack content up against the edges of the screen with only 1 pixel of padding isn’t as bad, as the pixels on the Samsung Z320i are wider than those on the S500i).
Some more features of the Z320 that are worth noting:
- The Z320i is the first 3G i-mode phone, so in 3G enabled areas you get even faster browsing, with video calling.
- USB and Bluetooth connectivity (a USB lead and PC Suite software is included in the box).
- No Flash Lite support.
- Increased cache size of 100kB, the largest I’ve seen on any i-mode phone so-far.
In more detail:
The Samsung Z320i has a 1.3MP still camera (Super Fine resolution 1280 × 1024 pixels) and a video camera that captures at 176×144 pixels (or 128 × 96 for MMS). The still camera is identical to the one in the Samsung S500i, except that it is cleverly hidden when the phone is ‘closed’ so that it doesn’t gather dust or get scratched—the sad fate of many a phone-camera.
Integrated media player
There is an integrated music player (with headphones in the box) and a good 120MB+ (I make it 133MB at least on my test handset) of internal memory, which would fit at least one, maybe two mp3’d albums. The sound quality isn’t great through the headphones supplied, and there’s no equaliser to sort out the lack of bass, but given that this is no ‘Walkman’ phone, it’s playback quality and capabilities are better than average.
As an extra, there’s also a cool little skinnable visualisation application that makes your screen all colourful while your music’s playing. It’s a nice touch if nothing else.
The media player also supports MPEG4 video, and you can get an episode of Lost into about 65MB…
There’s no doubt that the Samsung Z320i’s lack of a memory card slot and it’s less (than the S500i’s) high-definition screen will certainly put off some potential users, so if you’re a tech-freak who needs the latest, fanciest phone, the Z320i may not be for you.
I’ll make no apologies for saying that, personally, I really like the Samsung Z320i. It’s a neat little package, I think it looks great, and it feels great. It does it’s job really well. Everything if offers it does to the best of it’s ability, which is massively important for me from a philosophical as well as a practical point of view. So if you want a nice, neat phone with 3G and i-mode®, I can’t recommend the Samsung Z320i enough.
Samsung Z320i Size 97 × 48 × 23 mm Weight 95g Java DoJa 1.5 Connectivity USB, Bluetooth Camera CMOS 1.3 Mega-pixels Display Screen size 176 × 220 pixels Wallpaper/browsing/Doja screen size 176 × 180 pixels Colours 262k i-mode Browser Access Inc. Netfront v3.2 Languages supported HTML 4.01 partial iHTML, cHTML, WML 1.3 Max page size 100kB i-mail Size limit 300KB Capacity inbox: 3.5MB, outbox: 2.5MB
Posted on by Jordan | permanent link